Lopez Island School District reducing to part-time superintendent in 2009-10

Faced with declining enrollment and early predictions of significant statewide reductions in education funding, the Lopez School District has determined that the position of superintendent should be reduced to half-time, as a cost-saving measure, beginning with the 2009-10 school year.

The Lopez School Board, Superintendent Bill Evans and district officials met Dec. 2 for a public work session of the board and discussed the upcoming potential revenue reductions. Working from a list of consensus-determined assumptions that included a strong commitment to keeping the effect of budget cuts as far away from students and classrooms as possible, the board reviewed possible administrative staffing reductions presented by the superintendent.

It was determined that the reduction of the superintendent position would have the least direct impact upon students and classrooms.

“This was a very hard discussion to have,” Board Chairwoman Diana Hancock said, “and the final decision we made was even harder.”

The district leadership for 2009-10 will now include a part-time superintendent and a full-time K-12 principal. The principal position soon to be vacated by retiring Roland MacNichol will be advertised soon and qualified candidates will be sought with leadership skills and expertise in elementary and secondary grades.

In a separate action, Evans announced he would be retiring at the end of the school year to apply for the new part-time superintendent position as a retire/rehire candidate. The Lopez District has historically considered retired candidates in its ongoing efforts to hire qualified professionals for its vacancies, and has an official policy and procedures in place to guide its hiring process.

“I love this school district and the Lopez community,” Evans said, “and I want to do what is best for our students. If the opportunity to continue to serve is afforded me, that would be terrific.”

Hancock added, “The board enjoys a good working relationship with Mr. Evans and we are pleased that he intends to apply for the position."

As superintendent, Evans currently earns $93,500 a year. He said a salary for the part-time position has not been set and will be negotiable.

As of Dec. 1, Lopez's average daily attendance was 211 full-time equivalents in grades K-12.

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